If any Chicken-Fried News team members imbibe on a few hard drinks of brown liquor and we’re not at our respective manors or in the bunkroom at CFN World Headquarters, then we call a cab or a rideshare or get one of the sobriety enthusiasts on our team to take us home. It’s not just about seeing blue-and-red flashing lights in the rearview mirror — it’s about public and personal safety, and the fact that CFN’s legal defense fund doesn’t cover driving under the influence (DUI).
What confounds and flummoxes CFN is when a police officer gets arrested for a DUI. On Aug. 17, Oklahoma City police responded to a reported car crash with injury near S. Meridian Avenue and Newcastle Road. On a curb near the scene, they found Sgt. Michael Ables, a 27-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD). In body cam footage released by OKCPD, Ables told arresting officers that he “had some drinks” at Whiskey Barrel Saloon, 4120 Newcastle Road, a place perhaps best known as the location for the annual CFN Speed-Snarking Invitational and Chili Cheese Fries Challenge.
If you’ve been on the force for nearly three decades, you don’t need to watch body cam footage to know how this is going to play out, especially if, as was the case with Ables, the suspect refuses a sobriety test. Chances are Ables has been on the other side of the handcuffs in these situations a few times.
Here’s the thing: Whiskey Barrel is really close to Will Rogers World Airport — so close you can smell the jet fuel. And if you’re close to an airport, you’re also close to taxi cabs and a virtual land flotilla of Lyft and Uber drivers who are circling the area, waiting for a fare. It’s really simple: Are you past the shoulder line on a fresh bottle of Elijah Craig? There’s an app for that.
And if you’re a cop, try to learn on the job.